Tooth Cavities: Fact or Fiction… You Decide!

Myths About Signs Of Tooth CavitiesImage Credit – ADragan/

Even with good dental hygiene, many of us will get a tooth cavity during our lifetime. Even with a cavity, you can avoid the worst repercussions of tooth decay thanks to the benefits of dental fillings. However, cavities frequently go untreated due to infrequent Marietta dental visits and oral hygiene habits that could be improved. With that in mind, let’s do some brushing up on our tooth cavity knowledge – our list of popular misconceptions about cavities is the best place to start.

6 Popular Myths About Tooth Cavities

Think you know everything about cavities? Test your knowledge by reading the following 6 myths about cavities!

1. The only things that cause cavities are sugary foods, sugary drinks and sweets.

Yes it’s true that eating sugary foods and drinks without brushing your teeth can cause cavities. But do you know that other types of foods can also cause cavities? Sticky foods allow bacteria and sugar to stay on your teeth, especially if you don’t brush right away. The bacteria can absolutely cause cavities and tooth decay.

Furthermore, highly acidic foods and beverages (like orange juice) are not good for your teeth. The acid can break down the healthy, protective enamel that supports healthy teeth. If you’re going to consume acidic foods, be sure to brush and floss soon afterwards.

It isn’t a bad idea, also, to drink plenty of water in between meals. Not only will you hydrate yourself throughout the day, but you’ll help keep the bad stuff from lingering on your teeth in between meals.

2. If your teeth aren’t hurting, then you don’t have a cavity.

Not necessarily! The early signs of a cavity usually don’t produce any signs or symptoms. Catching a cavity in its early stages by a dentist can prevent it from getting bigger and causing more issues. Because once a cavity gets bigger and the hole in your tooth gets bigger, you’ll likely experience pain, discomfort, and hot/cold sensitivity.

Be sure to schedule your 6-month checkup appointments to catch problems early on before cavities and other extensive dental work are needed.

3. Brushing your teeth routinely is all you need to do to prevent cavities.

Yes, brushing your teeth 2-3 times every day is very important for healthy teeth and gums. But is that enough? Well, it’s a great start, but brushing isn’t enough.

You also should floss your teeth 1-2 times per day. Flossing will remove particles and plaque that get trapped between your teeth. Toothbrushes cannot reach into those tiny crevices in between teeth. Get in the habit of flossing!

Lastly, if you consume sticky, sugary and/or acidic foods or beverages, be sure to brush and floss as soon as possible. Discover exactly how dental hygiene contributes to good health here.

4. Fillings are a permanent solution for cavities, which means you don’t have to take care of fillings after they’re placed.

False! Fillings require care—regular brushing and routine flossing—after they’re placed. You see, bacteria and plaque can accumulate near and around the filling. If you don’t brush and floss regularly, issues can arise and you’ll be back at the dentist’s office to fix another dental problem.

You also need to keep an eye out if a filling breaks or cracks. This can happen over time or when eating hard candy or food. If you notice a cracked filling or a broken filling, call your dentist to get it fixed.

So if you think you don’t have to take care of the fillings once placed, think again!

5. Chewing gum is really bad for your teeth.

Wrong…well, partially! Chewing sugar-free gum can be beneficial for teeth…just make sure it’s sugar free. On the other hand, gum that’s packed with loads of sugar can be bad for teeth since the sugar will sit on your teeth until you brush.

Be sure to choose sugar-free gum to chew in between or after meals. The gum will actually help create more saliva in your mouth, which will help remove plaque and bacteria from the teeth and gums (decreasing your chances of developing cavities). And don’t forget to schedule regular dental cleanings and oral exams to ensure your fillings are in great shape.

6. If your child has a cavity in a baby tooth, it doesn’t matter.

Very wrong! Cavities and tooth decay can be very serious issues, even though baby teeth fall out. Decayed baby teeth sometimes fall out too early before the permanent teeth are ready. This can lead to issues with the teeth lining up properly and lining up in the right spot.

In addition to alignment issues, cavities and tooth decay in children can cause significant pain and discomfort. Sometimes the decayed baby tooth can lead to serious infection, which can be extremely painful.

So be sure to teach your young son or daughter early on the importance of consistent brushing and flossing. Developing good oral hygiene habits at an early age is important for healthy teeth and gums!

Signs You Have a Tooth Cavity

Now that you recognize some common cavity myths, it’s important to understand the signs that show you may have tooth decay. If any of these symptoms are familiar, schedule a checkup with your Marietta dentist as soon as possible.

  • Sensitive teeth – Sensitivity to hot, cold or sweet food and drink.
  • Toothache – Persistent and sharp tooth pain that won’t go away.
  • Stained teeth – The sudden appearance of black, gray or white spots on a tooth.
  • A hole in your tooth – Look for signs of a small hole or holes in a tooth.
  • Bad breath – The development of bad breath without an obvious cause.

Trusted Tooth Cavity Treatments and Family Dentistry Services in Marietta

At Shining Smiles Family Dentistry, we provide family, restorative and cosmetic dental treatments for patients of all ages. For oral exams, dental cleanings and other services, visit our Marietta office. Call (770) 420-8550 or request a dental appointment today.

Source: 6 Myths About Tooth Cavities

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